Series: Chronoptika #1
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest reviewRelease Date: April 23, 2013
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Jake's father disappears while working on mysterious experiments with the obsessive, reclusive Oberon Venn. Jake is convinced Venn has murdered him. But the truth he finds at the snow-bound Wintercombe Abbey is far stranger ... The experiments concerned a black mirror, which is a portal to both the past and the future. Venn is not alone in wanting to use its powers. Strangers begin gathering in and around Venn's estate: Sarah - a runaway, who appears out of nowhere and is clearly not what she says, Maskelyne - who claims the mirror was stolen from him in some past century. There are others, a product of the mirror's power to twist time. And a tribe of elemental beings surround this isolated estate, fey, cold, untrustworthy, and filled with hate for humans. But of them all, Jake is hell-bent on using the mirror to get to the truth. Whatever the cost, he must learn what really happened to his father.
I was definitely interested in each of the characters' stories on their own, but when put together in this book I felt like there was too much happening and too many different people to follow. There are four or five different stories all wrapped up into almost 400 pages, and readers are taken back and forth between all these characters. I almost think that each character needs a book dedicated just to them to make everything easier to follow. I was also very confused about how the fey came into the story, but they made for an interesting reading (I'm still trying to understand their purpose).
I really enjoyed all the characters in the book, they each were working towards one goal which is what brought them all together. This was in a way a quest novel, and those type of books always appeal to me. Each character has their own quest, Jake to find his father, Oberon to save his wife, Maskelyne to claim what is rightfully his, and Sarah... well hers I am still a tad confused on.
I did enjoy that Catherine explained how everything worked for the mirror, and I found that Catherine used this book as an introduction for what else there is to come in this story. There is a lot of world building because there are so many time jumps in the novel, and I really enjoyed how Catherine adds in a journal of the person that has found the mirror. The back story of the mirror was intriguing, seeing how people have learned about it. There are still so many questions left after reading this book, that will bring readers back
I can see this series really going somewhere in future books, but I just felt like this first book was a lot of information to take in. There were too many stories happening at once and at times it was hard to distinguish one from another. I would have enjoyed this novel a little more if there was even one less story to have to follow. All in all it was a fun and intriguing story with some great mystery, but there was just too much going on.